A Modest Proposal or Happiness is a warm gun

The recent tragedy in Orlando brought gun control back into the spotlight.  Immediately, liberals over reacted and started taking about what they perceive as needed gun control legislation, some even previously endorsed by the NRA.  Simultaneously, the gun lobby, NRA and Donald Trump – the great hope of America – reacted in the other direction, mobilizing their followers to make sure there were no restrictions on gun ownership in the USA.  After all the Second Amendment is the most pressing issue in the US today.

This is a recurring cycle.  A massacre happens in the United States.  Amidst the sadness over our loss and senseless violence, some people immediately blame the ease of access to guns in the country.  Those who oppose any legislation in regards to guns voice concerns over terrorism, mental health and the phase of the moon, for guns themselves do not harm others.  Politicians posture about making changes, while the NRA funds opposition. After much handwringing and rhetoric, nothing happens.  Slowly the cry for gun control legislation quiets a bit and other items dominate the news cycle.

Nothing happens until the next tragedy and then it is only talking points that lead nowhere.  Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, Orlando.  Einstein said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  It is time to change our actions and end the insanity.

These arguments over guns, take away from the more important issues facing our country and our world.  We should focus on what we prioritize as important, and clearly that is not gun legislation.
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms and form free, albeit well regulated, militias.  Previously, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to bear arms does not mean that there can be no regulation or legislation over guns and other arms.  I’d like to propose that we abolish that Supreme Court ruling and we address the gun issue in a way that will remove it from the public discussion forever.

I propose that gun ownership be mandatory in the USA.  It can be done in such a way to spur the economy, reduce the distractions that take away from the larger issues facing this world, and unify the US into a new, more effective society.  With a few minor tweaks to how guns are bought and sold, this issue becomes moot.

Once that Supreme Court ruling is overturned, we define “arms” as used in the Second Amendment as “weapons”.  Period.  All Weapons will be deregulated.

 Guns will no longer be bought and sold as they have been

The US Government will be the sole purchaser of guns in the US.  Individual citizens may not buy or sell guns.  The US will work with US manufacturers of weapons to determine how many guns are needed and will be the exclusive buyer of guns.   A profit margin will be guaranteed to the manufacturer.  All guns (and their components) must be designed, manufactured and distributed solely in the US.

Because weapons cannot be bought and sold, does not mean that there won’t be a pipeline to criminals.  But, because every good guy will have a gun, criminals now know that any action that they take could, and probably will, lead to violence.  Many criminals will be killed trying to commit crimes, reducing the crime rate further than the simple deterrent of knowing there are weapons in every home and business.  Of course a few citizens will be casualties, but compared the innocent victims of recent massacres, these people will be martyrs to gun deregulation and hailed as heroes.   A new national holiday will be created in their honor, so that everyone can celebrate their personal sacrifice for gun ownership.  Society has already deemed that the death of 50 or so innocent civilians at any time is an acceptable cost, a national day of celebration, and relief from work seems appropriate.

As importantly, because US guns and weapons cannot be sold outside the US, there will be no fear of terrorist and US enemies gaining weapons to use against us.  What this also means is that we, as the US, can tell who our enemies are by who supplies our enemies with weapons.  This will galvanize and focus our military, increasing efficiencies.

The US Department of Arms will distribute weapons to citizens

There will be a new government department that is solely focused on arms.  They will oversee the gun manufacturers to make sure they make appropriate profits and adjust the profit margin up or down to be reflective of the economy.  The gun manufactures, their employees, their executives and their distributors will make a good income, but they will not be allowed to make super profits or become robber barons.  Prices will be set annually, and there will be significant oversight making sure there are no abuses.

The US Department of Arms will be a large government branch.  It will have armies of distribution workers, transportation options and economic over-sight analysts.  As this is all in support of making sure every citizen has the arms they are entitled to, this is the ultimate constitutional process.  This will reinforce each citizen’s understanding of the US Constitution and their belief in our federal government.

Economic Benefits

The new US Department of Arms will create a new economic growth cycle. First, staffing the new government agency will add tens of thousands of positions immediately.  While supporters of smaller government might be initially resistant, once people see that the department only distributes the guns mandated by this proposal and provides minimal oversight to distribution, redistribution, guaranteed gun manufacturer profitability and product quality, those issues should be overcome.   The rise in demand for truck drivers, maintenance workers and logistic experts will be a boon to the economy, staving off any looming recession.

Clearly, there will be no more gun stores.  But there will be a call for more shooting ranges, weapons training, kill tactics, self-defense and ammunition.  Overall, there will be more opportunities created.  Arms maintenance, safety and shooting will be new required subjects in our school, increasing the demand for vocational teachers.

Additionally, as the US weapons manufacturers will see their increased market place, they will expand, as will their suppliers.  A national think tank estimates the growth in jobs to be over 2 million in each of the next 15 years.

Arms will be distributed throughout a citizen’s life

Starting at the age of 1, US citizens will start receiving their weapons according to a detailed life plan.  No rational person will ever want for a weapon.  The selfish and greedy will always want more, but this will be a level playing field.  Much like aging, one’s weapon cache will grow over time and citizens will have the ability to modify their arsenal.  Initially people will receive their Arms at major life milestone – age 13, graduating High School, age 18, age 21 and every 10 years starting at age 30.  Extra arms will be issued upon marriage, birth of children, starting a career and opening a business.

There will be opportunities to add additional weapons for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, Baptism, religious conversion, Quinceañera and other milestones.

On a citizen’s 16th birthday they will also be given 3 hand grenades.  The only weapons not distributed to the average citizen will be nuclear weapons.  Those will be distributed to local, state and national officials to be used at their discretion.  As they have been elected to do the will of the people, it makes sense that they should be in a position to exercise whatever that will turns out to be.

This begs the question of what happens to arms when a citizen passes on or leaves the country.  They may leave their weapons to a family member or members or bequeath them to an approved Militia.  If there are no arrangements made, their weapons will be collected and redistributed.

Well Regulated Militias

As the Second Amendment does call for the existence and formation of well-regulated Militias, there will be no hindrances allowed to prevent their formation.  Once a Militia is formed, it will be acknowledged by the government and given and extra 2 arms per member.  Weapons will be distributed semi-annually based on membership increases, insuring each Militia has the enough arms to be effective.

There will be no significant requirements to form a Militia and they can be formed for any and every purpose.  Some purposes include local defense, border defense, racial defense, religious defense, terrorist hunting and perhaps illegal immigrant deterrence.  Each Militia will determine what well regulated means to them as the government will not interceded, but will support each Militia equally.

, there will probably be Militias for the Jehovah Witnesses, the Catholic Church, various White Supremacist factions, Rotary, the ACLU, the Clampers, NAACP, Greenpeace, PETA, the Hell’s Angels, AARP, Mensa and other cultural free thinkers. Clearly, not every Militia will see eye to eye with every other Militia.  Over time, it is anticipated that there may be small skirmishes between these groups, but as this is by-product of allowing for free Militias, it is to be expected and accepted.

Legal Changes

Clearly, there will need to be some legal changes.  Open carry will be made legal across all venues.  School children will be mandated to take a weapon to school and no business may bar a patron carrying a weapon.  There will be good guys with guns everywhere:  in schools, churches, bars and casinos.

Self-protection and stand your ground laws will be expanded in light of the increased weapons in society.  There is no need for the courts to get bogged

Non-citizens may not own or carry a gun in the US.  This may help some the refugee concerns that are cropping up.  If anyone gets wind of a non-citizen with a weapon, they will be encouraged to report them to the police, so that the matter can be addressed appropriate.

Societal Benefits

As with any major change, there will several changes in society and many will occur quickly.  As everyone will carry arms, though some may choose not to, there will be more deaths.  Guns do not cause deaths, people do and people will die.  Those with mental health issues will probably be eliminated in the early days.  As they often intimidate and provoke others, they will most likely be killed in a series of “stand your ground” and self-defense events.  This will reduce the need for mental health efforts and free up professionals for more important and serious work.

In every society there are those that are clumsy and haphazard.  A great many of the uncoordinated and unobservant will ultimately either be killed through a series events placing them in avoidable harm’s way.  As these events could have easily been avoided, the dead will be a fault.  Some people won’t learn to use and care for their weapons.  The lack of attention will back fire on many, leading to their self-destruction.

There will inevitably more children dying.  Children often make poor decisions; some will choose weapons to solve their problems.  It is anticipated that bullies, braggarts and the socially inept will heavily impacted.  This will help improve the adults in society in later years as various problems are eliminated before they can start.  These events have the potential to improve the school system and education in the US as distractions and overcrowded conditions decrease.

Well-meaning and oblivious parents will probably meet an untimely end.  There is already a noticeable amount of toddlers accidently killing adults.  There is no reason for this pattern to dissipate in the near term.

Having arms on hand will provide alternatives to the lonely, elderly and terminally ill.  Over time, the number of people in these situations will find new ways to eliminate their personal issues, improving our society little by little.

In all the various scenarios that occur, some poor souls who should be shining examples in society will be eliminated.  These citizens will be martyrs.  Their names will be engraved on the various weapon depositories and monuments erected as reminders of how important the Second Amendment is.  Their sacrifices will be immortalized and appreciated.

Ultimately, these deaths will be the new millennium’s Darwinian exercise.  There will be a significant thinning of the herd and only the strong will survive.  This will be the ultimate technology aided natural selection, leading to a leaner, stronger US.   Guns will not be our focus, real problems can be focused on and our quality of life improved.  Isn’t that what we really want?

Today’s ideas are brought to you by John Lennon, Mark David Chapman. and the NRA.  Stay armed America.

 

Your Guns, Our National Shame

Last week, a radicalized Muslim couple slaughtered 14 people and seriously injured many more in San Bernardino Ca.  Rather than start addressing what problems this tragic event spotlights, Radical Islamic Terrorists and easy access to Guns, the right did two very critical things.  They made sure that they galvanized their base so that NO ONE, including OBAMA, takes away their guns and they moved to defund Planned Parenthood. Again.

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way.

Yes, Planned Parenthood has a major role in abortions in the USA. More importantly, they are the single largest source of affordable women’s healthcare in the USA.  And the funding they receive from the US Government DOES NOT in any way, shape, or form get used for abortions.  So, this is a smokescreen at best and at worst a horrible swipe at women’s healthcare.  And remember, the video Carly Fiorina constantly talks about was no filmed at Planned Parenthood.  It is propaganda and patently inflammatory and false.  I am I the only one that finds this behavior shameful?

Second, has anyone ever really said “let’s take all guns away!”?  Nope.  Generally it’s a call to reform our existing laws.  Yes I know it the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms.  Is it unilateral?  All types of guns?  All types of weapons?  Does the NRA really believe that the San Bernardino shooters should have been able to stock pile over 1000 rounds of ammunition?  Who needs that?

Why is it that whenever the topic comes to gun control, it immediately becomes the hysteria that “you can’t take all my guns!”?  Keep a pistol or two.  Keep your hunting rifle.  Ban semi-automatic weapons.  Ban having large magazines for ammo.  Put a cap on the number of rounds a person may buy or have.  We are talking about the means to kill people.  Why do we believe that enabling people to do it better and faster is a good thing?  What happened to our national critical thinking skills?  Stop the partisan politics and take steps to make it harder to gain access to weapons of mass death. That’s what these are.

Yes, the bad guys will still get guns.  But look at last week.  No one thought they were “bad” till they started shooting.  Doesn’t that lead you to believe that there are others like them and that getting guns is too easy?  Take it a step a further.  Even if we had identified these people as potentially dangerous, even put them on the terror list, they can still buy guns.  If you are on the national “no fly” list, you cannot be prevented from legally buying a gun.  In what world does that make sense?

But back to the 2nd Amendment.  In the vernacular of the time, it allowed you to have muskets.  The masses lived in a 2 room house without electricity.  You were worried about a how a monarchy across the ocean might attack us.  There was no mass, efficient, global communications.  But yet we still need rationalize YOUR (not mine) need to have an arsenal of weapons in your home.  If you want to move to a hut in Africa (or another third world country) and worry about the local government, fine have your guns.  There, not here.  This is not our reality.  No matter what Texans think about the national government invading Texas.  That one always cracks me up.

You’ve seen the articles and memes; they incense you.  How dare we take your guns away.  Feel free, shoot your gun at the front page of the New York Times.  That’s and adult response.  For some reason every gun nut decides that we can only throw the baby out with the bath water.  A friend said to me, “I have a gun. I have never had an incident.”  GREAT.  You have one gun and you’d like me to equate that with people that have 20.  Nope.  Keep your gun.  Build limits.  Build regulation.  Be a responsible adult.  We don’t let our children gorge on ice cream till they die.  Why must we treat guns differently?

Last night a friend posted the wonderful “cut and paste” meme that swimming pools, bathtubs and cars (and several other silly things that can lead to death in an accident) are more dangerous than guns.  Lunacy.  Yes there are probably more deaths via auto accidents than guns.  There are more drivers than gun owners (I’m estimating).  But car related deaths are accidents.  Gun deaths are generally not.  And no, I don’t consider the kid crippled as an unintended victim of a drive by shooting an accident.  The gun was fired.  We have more regulations and requirements for driving and car ownership than we do for guns.  Does that make sense?  Couldn’t there be an equivalent licensing and training for gun ownership?  Why do we automatically rule it out?

And before I forget, I really scared that I might bring my swimming pool to a theater and hurt you?  Seriously can we just call that meme top 10 in terms of ridiculousness?

Oh that’s right it doesn’t prevent the bad guys from getting access.  Ok, but it might make it harder.  Why can we not make progress on the issue?  Should we stop treating cancer because we haven’t solved it 100%?  Of course not, that would be stupid and callous.  So is the NRA and their allies stopping any potential improvement in our national problem and shame.

Yes, shame.  We have had more mass shootings to date in 2015 than there have been days thus far.  Is that ok?  Let’s put it in perspective.  Every time there is a mass shooting, it is on you- you are ok with it.  How is it after Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charlotte, San Bernardino and so many more we cavalierly endeavor to stop all efforts designed make a change for the better?  If you don’t support change in the guns laws these deaths and the next ones are on you. You don’t want a change, so there for YOU are endorsing this behavior.

And to be clear, in my opinion:

Every mass killing (more than 3) is an act of terrorism.  Period.  Not every terrorist is radical Islamic Fundamentalist .  If you block realistic change you are supporting Terrorism.  Its been more than 20 years since the killing in101 California in San Francisco and the Assault Weapons killing In Stockton.  We have made no progress.  NONE!

I’m not saying I have the answer.  I don’t.  But we know that inaction is allowing this to continue and I say ENOUGH!  Let’s do something.  Be heard.  Make some changes.  Stop the grid lock and let’s make progress.  I’m not saying we are throwing out the baby with the bathwater, the NRA is.  Let’s make some progress.

Of course tomorrow or the next day there will be another shooting.  We will all be sad about the tragedy and the gun lobby will prevent any movement.  Own that.  Stand up and declare “I am ok with those people being killed as long as I have my gun rights.”  Stop pretending your actions and thoughts mean anything else.  They don’t and don’t delude yourself that it means differently.  We see you.

SHAME ON YOU.

Let’s think outside the box, shall we?

The political debates in the country are driving me crazy.  It seems like every day the level of angry diatribes on Facebook for conservative causes gets louder, crazier and more rabid.  I tend to remove people from my timeline daily. Clearly, the free speech movement of the 60’s showed that free speech, demonstrations and perseverance can change the world.  Maybe not quite as much real changed as they might have wanted, but it does contribute to change.  Sadly, it seems that has translated into yelling, fanaticism and personal attacks.  It seems the lesson was lost.

I don’t mind debate and I acknowledge that my opinion might not always be right.  But let’s have discussions and compromise.  In today’s partisan politics, compromise has been lost.  During the fiscal cliff fiasco, the Republicans vowed to not compromise.  That’s one sure way to encourage debate and compromise.  All it does is make deep chasms deeper.  To my way of thinking, it is no better that a 3-year-old boy who won’t share his toys.  Nothing good comes from it and the behavior needs to be corrected.

Fox News, my favorite whipping boy, spends hours per day on topics that are ridiculous.  President Obama is ruining the country is generally the basic theme.  During the election, I was constantly amazed on how Fox harped on “Obamacare.”  It was a good idea when Romney did something very similar in Massachusetts.  Is it because it is ok if a state does it but the not federal government?  Personally, I am not sure that every state in south knows the civil war ended and they lost.  I don’t dislike southerners, but I am wary of the “old ways.” Let’s be honest, many people still fly the Confederate flag and think it isn’t offensive.  It is.  I believe, regretfully, we are still generations removed from racism and classism being eliminated in this country.  Isn’t Arizona still protesting the MLK Holiday and looking for reasons to stop minorities?  It is in the name of curbing illegal immigration of course.  I think a strong federal government has to something that some states probably won’t do.

That’s not to say there is no room for debate or compromise.  I believe there is.  But, is there a debate if each side yells, “no compromise!”  I’m not a fan of pork barrel spending or ever increasing entitlements.  But, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Let’s make plans, as complex as they may be, to cut spending.  Not everything today.  Real change is needed, but it’s not a light switch change and there is no magic bullet.  Discussion and compromise are needed.  If you see it, please let me know, because I do not.  That bothers me.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in Democracy and Capitalism.  I also believe in compassion and more butter than guns.  But I do believe in a strong defense system; we are the watchers on the wall so to speak, let’s not abandon that.  Let’s be smart about it.

While I believe that we need to arm and outfit our military appropriately, I do not believe in nuclear weapons vis a vis mutually assured destruction.  We have some, ok.  So do a few other countries.  I am very bothered by Iran and other countries developing them.  I’m not saying let’s go invade Iran.  But it’s not the worst Idea I’ve heard either.

What is the worst idea I’ve heard lately is that the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  Color me stupid, but this not the old west and the good ‘ol USA is not Tombstone.  We are not all Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.  Some of you must be the Dalton Gang, by definition, of course.  Aren’t you puzzled about how much power the NRA has?  I saw a poll that 84% of the US wants some sort of increased gun control.  84%.  Even if that is an exaggeration, I think we can agree it is 84% likely that MOST people want some sort of gun control.  But there seems to be two sides:  people who want to talk about it and those that refuse to entertain the thought.  The people who believe this will ruin the country seem to be yelling the loudest.

I’ve seen some people go as far as declare the president a criminal or tyrant for the plans and objectives he outlined on gun control this week.  Is it really that different from the legislation, now long expired, that Regan put into place in the 80s?  Not to my mind.  But something is different.  Probably the Fox pundits spewing hate all day every day.

Last night I saw a clip of some idiot proposing that if European Jews had assault weapons, there wouldn’t have been a holocaust.  Really?  To paraphrase John Stewart, France couldn’t stop the Germans and it took the US and other countries over 5 years of WAR, but giving civilians guns would have prevented WWII.  Lunacy.

People are screaming that taking away semi-automatic, high capacity killing devices is in violation of the constitution.  The constitution that was written when weapons (or arms) meant muskets (manually reloaded, of course), knives, bayonets, and cannons.  I would never thing to propose to take away one’s musket or bayonet.  Other than Rick Harrison (and his high profile customers) on Pawn Stars, who do  you know that has a cannon?

In 1729 Jonathan Swift published “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick.”  I often recall that piece and think of its great logic.  I have a new modest proposal.  Clearly, hand guns and hunting rifles are not enough for the gun enthusiasts.  Perhaps they are right that we need more good guys with guns.  I would propose the following.

  • Every dwelling must have at least 1 hand gun.  People will be on the honor system to keep it away from children and encouraged, but not required to take a gun safety course.
  • People will be encouraged to have as many rifles and hunting gear as they can afford.
  • On each block, at least one family will be required to have and AK47 (or more powerful weapon)
  • In each 4 block area, at least 1 family must have a machine gun or other killing weapon to use against the bad guys.  The blocks will vote on who is the good guy
  • For every 100 families or dwellings there will be one family with a crate of hand grenades.
  • For every 500 families or dwellings, there will 1 ground to air RPG or rocket launcher with at least 3 rockets.
  • Cities larger than 50,000 will have 1 tank per 50,000 citizens.  These will be housed at the homes of the city council.
  • Cities larger than 900,000 will have at least 1 nuclear bomb.  Cities over 2million must have at least 3.  The head of the city’s garbage collection agency will be in charge of the bombs or rockets.

I believe this is a great course of action.  It will put lots of weapons in the hands of good guys and will force everyone to be careful how they use their allotted weapons.  It logically follows that if the killers at Columbine, Newtown and Aurora had known they could be easily killed they would have thought twice about the consequences of their actions, they wouldn’t have pulled the triggers.  Right?  Thank god for the NRA.